Though the desi sport of kabaddi has won many medals for the country at international sporting events, the game has never been adequately represented in cinema. Now, Kannada film director Narendra Babu has just wrapped up a film revolving around it, titled Kabaddi.
Babu says the high point of the movie is that most of the actors, including the main leads, have been associated with the game at some point of time in their lives.
Praveen, who plays male lead, had represented the national level team, while female lead Priyanka Naidu had represented the Karnataka state team.
"Nearly 40 players who have represented the national kabaddi team at one time or the other have been roped in to play different roles in the movie. Many kabaddi players have been featured in the games that are shown on the screen. These games are part of the script written by me. We have spent nearly Rs.2 million to shoot the game," Narendra Babu told IANS.
The film is made at a budget of Rs.18.5 million (Rs.1.8 crore).
"The film has taken more than 18 months to complete. The film has shaped up so well that even conventional film producers and distributors are inquiring about it to buy the distribution rights of the film," Babu said.
Sandesh Nagaraj, one of the well-known producers in the industry, is so keen to buy the distribution rights that he offered to pay Rs.500,000 extra to each of the investor of the film, he said.
He added that actor Avinash was so pleased with the film that he refused to take his entire fee.
"I am really happy about the way the director has conceived this project. Kabaddi is my favourite sport and I want everyone to understand its importance. As an artist it is my moral responsibility to help out such challenging efforts," Avinash said.
Producer Ravi, a kabaddi player himself, said though the national level tournaments of the game are being held prominently in many places in the state, only a few Kannada films had sequences featuring the game.
"Our film is fully kabaddi-centric and the thrills and frills of the game are adequately presented in the film," he said.